Urban Focus is a photographic project on the industrial wastelands of Saint-Étienne, which began in 2015. With my friend Maxime Disy, photographer and enthusiast of Urbex, we embarked on the discovery of abandoned places, rich in stories for identify, share and map the potential of these places in order to propose initiatives with a cultural and.or artistic goal. In this sense, to tell the history of the city from a new angle, to tend towards its new character, to rehabilitate abandoned spaces (disused factory, houses, shops, buildings).
In 2017, Urban Focus grew and Agathe Montel, Architect DE, joined the collective. We then decide to present our work at the Biennale Internationale du Design in Saint-Etienne. Present in rue de la République, in the “IN” exhibition at the Cité du Design and at the Open Factory, we organize activities around the question of the future of industrial wastelands: round tables, conferences, vernissage, film screening at the Méliès Café, artist interventions.
To continue in our collaborative dynamic, we are organizing a workshop with students from L’ESADSE and Architecture of Saint-Etienne to "rethink the interior space of the industrial wasteland Impasse Bourgneuf". As this wasteland is at the heart of an urban diagnosis, its future is therefore called into question.
The workshop will consist of leading a reflection on the redevelopment of the wasteland, then designing a model (prototype + 3D). This project will ultimately be selected and presented to EPASE and the public.
In January 2018, following our concrete actions in the Saint-Étienne region and the photography and mapping work carried out, we decided to create the Urban Focus association (today, based in Saint-Étienne).